It is a well-known fact that food tastes a lot better when accompanied with wine but of course when paired correctly. You should ensure that the wine you select interacts with the food’s flavor to provide everyone with an unforgettable experience. High end restaurants hire sommeliers that assist the clients in selecting wines to accompany their meals. A sommelier (a French word which means wine steward), is a highly trained professional in everything to do with wine. Of course for your home, you might not be in a position to hire a sommelier to help your loved ones in wine selection. So, here are some wine elements to help you make the right wine selection to match the food you are serving.
The tannin in the wine creates the bitter taste as well as increasing the weight. Tannins are derived from stems, seeds and skins of the grapes during the process of maceration. The best foodstuffs that can be paired with this kind of wine are those high in protein such as hard cheese and red meat dishes. This is for a reason; the protein softens the bitterness by reacting with the proteins present in these foodstuffs. Sweet and spicy foodstuffs can also accentuate the bitterness and dryness of tannins, thus bringing out the flavors in the wine. When taken with foodstuffs that do not contain protein such as vegetarian dishes, this will cause a drying effect on your palate. This is because the tannins end up reacting with the proteins on the sides of your mouth and tongue.
This adds a lift, freshness and nerve when paired with the right food. Actually, it will have the same effect as when you squeeze a lemon on fish. It is important to make sure that the acidity of the wine is equal to the food being served. This is because the wine might end up tasting washed out and bland if the acidity levels are not matched. Salads can prove to be a challenge but you can use moderate acid in the dressing by cutting back on vinegar or lemon juice. You can also try using some bitter, tangy greens which will be offset by the flavors from an acidic wine.
The degree of sweetness in the wine is highly determined by the amount of sugar left after the fermentation process. Sweet wine is usually richer and heavier with desserts being the most popular food to be matched with it. The sweetness can also be used to balance heat and spice since it alleviates the burning sensation of spicy food. Additionally, it can be used to contrast with salt in some foodstuffs like Stilton cheese and bring out mild sweetness in certain foodstuffs. You should note that sweet wine balances tartness especially if the food is sweet in dishes such as sour and sweet sauces.
Other pairing elements
Beyond the obvious guidelines above, you can come up with ingenious pairings by trying out different meals with different wines. Take advantage of bridge ingredients which have a certain affinity to certain wines such as slow cooked onions that pair perfectly with creamy wines. You can also use specific spices and herbs alleged to be in the wine like rosemary in the dish. The presence of these spices will increase the chances that the wine will pair well with the meal.
In addition, whatever your preference is, you should ensure that the wine is in a good condition and stored properly. Take a look at the commercial wine racks in the restaurant and assess if storage is done right. If the restaurant does not give much attention to wine storage, the wine you order will not be in the best condition and will do little to enhance your dining experience.